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Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of frequently asked questions from across the offices supporting Columbia College and Columbia Engineering collected here in one place for your convenience. You can browse by topic/department or search by keyword.

First-Year Student Orientation, Orientation

How do I register for NSOP?

By completing all the necessary steps listed in your Countdown to Columbia checklist, you will be automatically registered for NSOP. 

I heard that I’ll be meeting a lot of new people. Do you have any tips on how to remember everyone’s name?

Don't fret! This is why name badges were invented. Both staff and students will wear one throughout orientation week. They are required for all NSOP events, so people’s names will always be accessible.

What events will be happening during NSOP?

The NSOP 2020 schedule will be available in August. 

What should I do if I must arrive before NSOP?

If you must arrive before the general move-in date, are not participating in a special program and do not have special permission from the Housing Office, you will need to secure off-campus accommodations. A list of area hotels and other options is available on the Columbia University Travel Portal.

What should I do if I'm coming from far away and can't pack everything?

There are many places near campus where you can purchase toiletries and other supplies for your room. 

When does NSOP officially begin and end?

NSOP 2020 will be held virtually. It will begin on Sunday, August 30 and end on Monday, September 7.

We will update students should any changes be made to programming in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We thank you for your patience, and we look forward to welcoming you to campus!


Where can I learn about resources on campus, like housing, dining and health services?

Please visit the New Student Resources website, which also provides a checklist of the actions you must take to complete requirements by given deadlines to prepare for your move to campus. Additionally, the Countdown to Columbia website provides a webinar series that will address various aspects of life at Columbia in the weeks leading up to NSOP 2020.

Will I have time to relax during orientation week?

With NSOP 2020 being held virtually this year, you will be able to set your own schedule with both mandatory and social programs. While most days are packed with mandatory programming, we have made a sincere effort to add numerous breaks to the week. To plan your week, we recommend marking required programs, events of interest to you and all of the breaks in your schedule to make the week seem less hectic. Making time to relax and meeting new friends is an important part of NSOP!

Will there be anyone to answer my questions during orientation week?

The orientation leaders (OLs) are always available to help you. Your resident assistant (RA) will be another invaluable resource for you throughout orientation and the rest of the year.

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